"Thank God for film archivist Dennis Nyback. If not for his encyclopedic knowledge of rare films and his tenacity for acquiring them, we would never have the privilege to view some astounding works of cinema." Kim Morgan


Dennis Nyback takes his films around the world. Find out how to book a show, what programs are available, how to arrange for custom programming, and just about anything you would like to know about Dennis Nyback.

List of Film Programs Created (Not Complete)

 

BELLTOWN FILM FESTIVAL THE JEWEL BOX THEATER SEATTLE 1989-1992

The Nicholas Brothers: Hot In Harlem

Jazz Stars in Suppressed Films

Misc. @ 5  For Clark Humphrey

Lite Lit 2: The Remake

To Be or Not To Be Bop

The Fabulous Nicholas Brothers

Silent Comedy Shorts

Hard Boiled Babes of the Silent Screen

It Came Before MTV: Scopitones

Meet The Soundies (Jazz)

Jazz of the 30’s and 40’s

Jazz of the 20’s and 30’s

Country Music Round Up

Croon A Little Tune (Jazz)

Swing that Music (Jazz)

Three 1940’s Jazz Featurettes

A History of Jazz Part 2

A History of Jazz Part 1

War: Is It For You?

Queens of Burlesque

You’ve Got to be Modernistic (Jazz)

Singing Fools (Jazz)

Big Band Bounce (Jazz)

The Original Stylists (Jazz)

Often Censored Cartoons

Glorifying the American Girl

Baseball Hi-Lites

Historic Cartoon Cavalcade

Tin Pan Alley Songwriters On Parade

Wrappin’ It Up (Jazz)

Jazz Women On Film

Jazz in the 1940’s

Jazz in the 1930’s

Jazz in the 1920’s

Effect of Dada and Surrealism on Hollywood Movies of the 1930’s

PIKE STREET CINEMA SEATTLE 1992-1995

Genius of Ladislas Starevitch, The

Politically Incorrect Humor on Film

Black Jazz Dancing

Not Even the Face is Familiar

Scopitone A Go Go

Beyond Barbie: Fab Vintage Toy Commercials

Jazz Cartoons of the 1930’s

Short Films of Harold Lloyd

Short Films of Laurel and Hardy

Short Films of Buster Keaton

Short Films of Charlie Chaplin

Short Films from the SF Underground

Weird 60’s Music Marathon

Fabulous Fatty Arbuckle

Strange Films from the Psychedelic Sixties

Short Films of Germaine Dulac

They Used to Call It Dope: Mystery of the Leaping Fish and also Sonny Bono

Mixed Nuts of the Silent Screen II

Mixed Nuts of the Silent Screen

Mondo Commie

Cross Dress Extravaganza: Men in Drag – Women in Revolt

Educational Hygiene Films

An Evening With Cab Calloway

Happy Birthday Duke Ellington

Mixed Nuts of the Silent Era

Recent Additions to the Film Archive

Hong Kong Hodge Podge

Food: Is It For You?

I Know Why You’re Afraid

Teen Trauma: Sex, Drugs, VD

Teen Trauma: Dating, Driving, Delinquency

About and By: Gordon Parks

Silent Animation

Max Fleischer’s Greatest Hits

Busby Berkeley Cartoon Show

Tex Avery at Warner Brothers

Cigarettes and Beer

Don’t Let it Bring You Down: Depressing Films on Interesting Subject

Karl Krogstad: A Body of Work

Anger At Work

Presidential Follies

Stag Party Special: A Delightful Evening of Vintage Smut

Mormon Church Explains It All to You, The

Salvador Dali Le Pink Grapefruit and Other Films

Lesser Known Silent Stars

Mack Gordon Music Night

George Kuchar: A Body of Work

Pare Lorentz: A Body of Work

Jean Vigo: A Body of Work

Joris Ivens: A Body of Work

Maya Deren: A Body of Work

Stan Brakhage: A Body of Work

Shocking Medical Films

Harlem in the 30’s Part 2

Harlem in the 30’s Part 1

Space Patrol, Space Patrol, Space Patrol

Life and Death in the 1950’s

LIGHTHOUSE CINEMA 1996

George’s Films Featuring Mike

George and Mike Kuchar: Standard 8

World Festival of Puppet Animation

Future That Never Happened, The

Celebrating Death on the Highway

Marcia Brady Fetish Night

Cigarettes and Beer

George Burns: A Guy from the Neighborhood

So, You Wanna Fight
Outer Space is the Place
Christmas Family Films
Halloween Family Cartoons
Let Me Boogie Your Woogie (Europe fall 2009)
Selling that Stuff ‘Toon Style (Europe fall 2009)
The Future That Never Happened (Europe fall 2008)
Perspective on the Great Depression
Radio Days
The High Lonesome Films of John Cohen
Zero to MTV
The Dark, Sad, and Funny of Bad Parenting
No Reason to Stay
Primer on the Vietnam War
Defining the Sixties Through Commercials
Drug Scare Films of Sixties
Ooh La La A History of Lingerie
Tap Dance Films of the Thirties
Let’s Fly Away
I Love a Piano
Lindy Hop and Jitterbug on Film
Girl Singers of the 1930’s
Terrorism Light and Dark
Anarchy Can Be Fun
Oregon Originals Animation
Industrial Animation Amok
World Puppet Animation
Educational Animation
Comics Come to Life
Sixties Animation
Tex Avery Toons
Animators Go to War
Oregon Original Mel Blanc
Introducing Bugs, Daffy, and other WB Toon Stars
The Forgotten Greatness of Amadee Van Beuren
Early Works of Paul Terry, Walter Lantz, Ub Iwerks, and Charlie Bowers
The Mouse That Roared
From Zoetrope to Sound Cartoons
Really the Blues
Hey Kids! It’s Mickey Mouse
Cowboy Music
Dennis Nyback Christmas Special
Class Warfare Rock and Roll
The Portland That Was
TBA Thank You Films
Hey Batta Batta
Three Oregonians: Mel Blanc, Lee Morse and George Olsen
Gumby Superstar
New Improved Offensive Animation
Everyone Loves Laurel and Hardy
When Educational Films Meant Slapstick
The Greatness of Charlie Chaplin
Hal Roach Prince of Slapstick
Funny Films From Orphan Studios
Funny Fatty: The Great Arbuckle
Buster at his Best
The Funny Funny Forgotten Mentioning
The Greatness of Our Gang
Silent Stars in Knockabout Comedies
Wacky Women in 1930’s Comedy Shorts
Tough Babes of the Silent Screenings
Smoking, Drinking, Sex
Historic Films of the Pacific Northwest
Dennis Nyback’s Favorite Films
Marcia Brady Fetish Night
Fuck the Republican Party: Secrets from their own Propaganda Films
Drug and Booze Educationals
I Know Why You’re Afraid
Anti-Japanese Cartoons from WWII
Cartoons Too Violent for Kids
Europe Through American Eyes
I’m Not a Feminist, That’s Silly!
Corporate Animation Amok
Cult, Oddball and Rubberhose Toons
Strange and Vicious War Cartoons
Jazz Cartoons
Stag Party Special
NW Expose: Lost, Forgotten and Supressed Oregon Films
Creepy Educationals
Blaxploitation Cartoon Special
The Appallingly Bleak Film Experiment
Bike and Vaudeville Pedal Powered Films
Cartoons Not Intended For Laughs
Men in Drag/Women in Revolt: Cross Dress Extravaganza
Girls, Girls, Girls
The Big Dick Cartoon Show
Silent Movie Clowns
Rocky and Bullwinkle Marathon
Subversive Animation
The Truth About the Disco Decade
Sweet and Hot Bands of the 1930’s
Kill A Commie For Christ
Black Jazz Dancing
The Black Experience in the 1960’s
Billie Holiday From First to Last
Mental Hygiene Educationals
Live From New York
Driver’s Ed Killer Films
The Greatness of W.C. Fields Shorts
Double Disco Sixties TV
The International Sex Cartoon Extravaganza
The Light at the End of the Century Part I
The Light at the End of the Century Part II
Film Noir Educatinals
Rockabilly Music
Trailer Camp
Sunday Funnies Come to Life
Additions to the Dennis Nyback Film Archive
Goodbye to All That
Capital Punishment: Is It For You?
Disorder in the Courthouse
Hong Kong Hodge Podge
The Genius of Busby Berkeley
Mixed Nuts of the Silent Screen
The Friday the Thirteenth Special
Teen Trauma: Sex, Drugs and VD
Teen Trauma: Dating, Driving and Delinquency
A Bugs Life: Not!
The Valentines Day Massacre Romance ShowDon’t Let it Bring You Down
Scalpel Fetish Night
Private Life of a Cat and other Odd Views on Sex
An Evening with Cab Calloway
Jean Vigo Short Films
The Unseen Maya Deren
TV Trash Fest Orgy
Beyond Barbie: Fab Toy Commercials
An Evening with Duke Ellington
Joseph Cornel: A Body of Work
The Art of Animation
Cult TV
Groovie Ghoulies and Friends
Bruce Bickford Claymation
New Additions
Trash TV
Early Trips: First Films of Famous Directors
The Birth of Betty Boop
The Greatness of Ladislas Starevitch
Otto Messmer: The Man who Created Felix the Cat
Emil Cohl Animation Pioneer
Max Fleischer: A Body of Work
Offenisive Animation
Behind the Scenes in Hollywood
Cowboy Music Hoe Down
George and Mike Kucher in 16mm
Compare to Disney

Let’s Go to the Circus

An Interview from Many Years Ago

In 2003 I was contacted by a writer in Boston named John Chilson about being interviewed 
for a magazine he had created.  I never saw the printed interview and the web magazine is gone.
I corrected a couple of spellings and got rid of odd formatting garbage but did not 
edit any of the questions or answers. It is sort of snapshot of the time. 
All of John's writing is in italics. 
 
Yikes. I never e-mailed you my questions. I thought I
had, but was cleaning out my e-mail at the end of the
year. So, if you still want to answer them for
schlockmagazine.com that'd be swell!

I read other interviews with you with similar
questions I was going to ask, so I hope these won't be
TOO repetitive for you??

JC

Dear John;

Forgive me for the tardy reply.  I am in Kiel, Germany.  I've shown two of my   
film programs here (last night and the night before) and will show the third tomorrow.  
I'll be back in New York on the fifteenth. Here are some answers to your questions.

1.    I can kick myself for not going around to various
libraries and schools and asking for their old films
when they were throwing them out when video was coming
into fashion. [Not that I do anything with them.]
Anyhow, I read in one of your interviews that many
times you just walked into a place and asked for
films being thrown out? Where do you get films from
these days? Is Ebay an option?

Yes, Ebay is now a primary source.  I still drop into junk stores and ask.   
People give me films. Yesterday I stopped at a store and asked about films.  
They said they would bring one in today that I could have for five bucks.  
It is German and from the fifties, probably a half hour long.  I'll be over there soon.      

2.     Does Portland know how lucky it is to have such an
awesome theater as the Clinton Street Theatre?
Seriously, here in Boston we have a few theaters that
seem to show the same old stuff, such as Reefer
Madness at some midnight screening. [Ooooh, how
daring!] Can you describe a typical showing at the
Clinton? Is it a weekly thing? Daily? What kinds of
audiences do you get?     

The Clinton is a jewel.  I am no longer connected with it except I can still  
 occasionally show my films there.  There is no typical show or crowd.  The  
 programming is all over the map and crowds range from very small to almost  
 filling the place.  There has not been a sellout for several months.  It is  
open daily.  Some of my programs played for up to two week runs or for only  
one night.  One of the programs I have here is called Hillbillies in Hollywood,  
It is music shorts, mostly Soundies, from 1927 to 1964. I showed it
for one night at the Clinton and over two hundred people packed the place.  It ran 
over four hours.  I then did a two and half hour version at the Experience Music   
Project in Seattle.  The version I'm showing here is a streamlined 90 minutes.     

3.   So, you started out in Seattle then moved to NYC,
then came back to Portland? Why Portland?     

I grew up in Portland. My family (on my mother's side) arrived by boat in   
1843 and founded the city.  They came from Portland, Maine.  The main reason  
I came back here was to save the Clinton Street which was slated to close.  
I also needed to get out of NYC as it was too difficult to pay for an apartment  
there.  I am moving back to NYC now. I will concentrate on writing and 
touring with my films.     

4.     In your interview on the kulture-void Website, you
mentioned you stopped listening to the radio in 1973
[you ain't missing anything]. I have a pal who is
adamant about never watching films made after the
early 70s. He's pretty serious about this. What are
some of your current movie faves? Do you pay attention
to what's being churned out by Hollywood these days?
Do you show current indie films?

I don't own a TV.  I read newspapers for information.  I do go to movies.    
In Portland I get in free.  I walk out on about half of them.  Did you read  
 my article Hollywood Garbage and How to Smell It?  It is at othercinema.    
Here in Germany I watched Gangs of New York (dubbed into German).  It was 
so-so. I did stay to the end.  In Kobenhaven I watched The Navigators and The  
Man Without a Past (in Finnish with Danish sub-titles).  They were both   
excellent.  I haven't seen any of the Oscar candidates except Gangs.  I think  
the Oscars are hogwash.     

5.    Have you ever thought of doing some sort of
traveling show across the country? Ever been to Europe
to screen films? If so, were they more appreciative?
The reason I ask, was there was a screening here a
couple years ago of groovy opening titles [Saul Bass,
etc.] and the audience was HOWLING with laughter at
some of the stuff. Pissed me off. I was chatting with
the curator afterwards and he mentioned that he
screened the same show in Germany, and each one
practically got a standing ovation from the audience.
Is there more an appreciation over there than there
is here?

Oh, I thought you knew about my European travels.  This is my seventh tour   
of Europe.  They started in 1995.  I think there are appreciative audiences  
 everywhere.  For the offbeat stuff there just aren't enough odd balls to s  
support most venues.  I have that Saul Bass film.  I think it's great. European  
audiences are a little more solemn than Americans.  I think they appreciate  
the fun of the films but also are there for the educational aspect.    
America has much less funding for the arts.  Getting guarantees there for my 
film shows is hard.  That is only at funded operations such as Yerba Buena 
Center for the Arts in SF and Simon's Rock College in Great Barrington,  
 Mass.  The best film town for old films is Paris, but I've never shown my   
films there in regular theaters like I have in other European cities.      

6.    Public domain. How do you get around it? Is it
possible to screening and ask for
donations or something?

I try not to worry about the copyright police knocking at my door. There is  
no getting around it by making it a "free" screening.  It also wouldn't pay  
enough.   For the hotter titles that the copyright holders try to suppress  
I ask that venues do not mention specific titles.  Before the internet I   
didn't have to worry at all, except in high profile venues.

Thanks for taking the time to answer. Also, would you
have any photos, artwork,  or posters of upcoming
shows I could add with the interview?     

Yes I have photos and art work.  I won't have access to most of it until I  
I'm again in Portland in June.  Right now you could grab stuff off of the we  
Best Wishes

Dennis

 

Dancing Feet, I’ve Got Those Dancing Feet

When I arrived in Chicago in 1976 on a freight train one of the first places I went was the Congress Hotel. I wanted to see the Joseph Urban Room. It was one of the fabulous night clubs of the 1930’s.  I was familiar with it because of recordings of broadcasts from there by Benny Goodman in 1935.  Joseph Urban had been one of the great designers of the 20’s and 30’s.  At the beautiful Congress Hotel I not only did not find any trace of the Joseph Urban Room; I found no one  who had ever heard of it.

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I had left Seattle over a month earlier on a southbound freight.  In Seattle I had discovered Lindy Hop and Jitterbug dancing by going to see The New Deal Rhythm Band.  The band was led by John Holte and featured the singer Cheryl Bentyne.  She went on to sing with the Manhattan Transfer.

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I spent about a month in Chicago.  During the day I would watch the Cubs play in Wrigley Field, or if they were on the road, look at art in the Art Institute of Chicago.  Many days were spent  just walking around inside the loop marveling at the fabulous buildings, including great examples of the work of Louis Sullivan.

http://www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/fnart/fa267/sullivan/carsonp2.jpg

During the evenings I would look for jazz music.  At the Ravinia Festival out doors I saw Benny Goodman.  A week later at the same place I saw Ella Fitzgerald backed up by Roy Eldridge.  I saw The Wolverine Jazz Orchestra somewhere on the north side and also watched movies in the Biograph Theater.  That was where John Dillinger watched Manhattan Melodrama and then stepped outside to meet a hail of gunfire.

http://www.peterspioneers.com/Biograph.jpg

I made it back to Seattle and the University of Washington later that summer.  John Holte was leading a new band called the Swingland Express at an extended engagement at the Windjammer Restaurant.   Over the next year or two the band often played at the G-Note Tavern in Greenwood.  It had a nice dance floor.  One night at the G-Note Odessa Swan showed up wearing a vintage poodle skirt of heavy felt that was fully decorated with sequins.  Midway through a dance I put her into a spin.  The skirt edge rose to nearly horizontal and knocked a half full pitcher of beer completely off a too close table.

In 1980 I finally made it to New York.  That had been my goal during the summer of freight train riding in 1976 but I never did make it.  Just to make sure in 1980 I flew.  Once there I met up with Odessa Swan and Robin Reid.  We went dancing at various places.  One place was a long narrow dance hall where the Widespread Depression Orchestra had a regular gig.

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Another place to dance was the Roseland Ballroom.  At the time the Les and Larry Elgart band was playing there.  It was hanging on to the last vestiges of a bygone era with employed dance hostesses and hosts, both men and women, who could be bought to dance with at somewhat more than a dime a dance.

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Easily the best place to dance in New York was The Rainbow Room.  It featured a tiered seating area that sloped down to a dance floor of adequate size in front of a  bandstand where Sy Oliver led a swinging band.  The Joseph Urban Room couldn’t have been any better.

 

 

 

 

ESTATE SALE CONFIDENTIAL: The Confession

My friend Peter Schilling Jr. writes an always entertaining blog . Once a week he files  a report on Estate Sales.  This is the current installment of his Estate Sale Confidential. It has brought me to the point where I need to confess.  I am alive, but many years ago I held an estate sale to get rid of many of my possessions.  Simply put I knew I could get more people to come to an estate sale than to a garage sale.  I also knew that my accumulation of stuff would put to shame many legitimate estate sales I had attended.  I would also be re-selling things I had bought at estate sales.  Isn’t that piquant?

At the time I was around thirty years old and had been buying vintage clothes and other items since I was a teenager.  My apartment, in back of Dick’s Drive-in on Broadway in Seattle, was full of old stuff.  In fact about the only modern thing there was the mattress and box spring I slept on.  It was supported by a one hundred year old cast iron bed.  You might know Dick’s from the Sir Mix A Lot video Posse on Broadway.

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Much of what I owned had come from Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and St. Vincent De Paul.  More came from The Union Gospel Mission Thrift in Pioneer Square, the CC Store in Vancouver, Washington, various antique stores in the Fremont and U districts of Seattle,  and Good Stuff Antiques in the Pike Place Market.

Good Stuff was run by Gene Trent.  He was an interesting man who always seemed to look at you with one eyebrow slightly raised.   It made him look as though he was leering .  Noticing he looked at everything that way took the leer away. The store was between 1st and Pike Place Alley on Pine Street which went steeply down hill.  You could stand on First and look down Pine to see if a red flag was sticking out from above the door of his shop.  That meant it was open.  One item sold at my estate sale was a poster size cardboard full color ad for AC Spark Plugs featuring the actress Priscilla Lane.  It was either true to life or the touch up artist provided her startling blue eyes.

The Union Gospel Mission Thrift was run by an old woman named Florence and somewhat younger man named Al.  It had three full stories of just about anything you could imagine.  Nothing ever had a price tag.  Asking Al to price something required a certain art.  If you could add an inflection indicating you really loved the item and had almost no money he would mark things dirt cheap.  Sold at the estate was a working Crosley Shelvador Fridge Al had priced at ten bucks.

http://antiqueradios.com/gallery/d/29613-2/1935_37_Crosley_Shelvador_Refrigerator_with_Built_in_Radio.jpeg

 The Seattle neighborhood called Fremont was full of antique and junk stores and various taverns and bars.  The best place to shop was The Daily Planet Antiques.  It was also a place where 16mm films would be shown by Howard Hays after hours to invited audiences.  The most interesting  tavern was the Born to Boogie.  It always had motorcycles parked out front.  Sometime in the early nineties the Born to Boogie got a new name and became a fern bar. It marked the end of an era.  The most crucial shop was Har’s Repairs.  Harold was a specialist at fixing tube amp radios.  Sold at my estate sale was a small brown bakelite radio I bought from Harold.

http://byemylife.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderpictures/generalelectric107.jpg

The CC Store in Vancouver, Washington was a an amazing place.  It was on Main Street and had things  on the shelves that were fifty years old.  In the basement was a complete shoe department that had been closed in the fifties but still had racks of shoes just waiting for someone turn on the lights and begin selling them again.  I could devote a whole post to the unique CC Store.  Sold at my sale were new in the wrapper  one hundred percent cotton bed sheets from the forties.

Somewhere near Seventh  and Pine in Seattle was Shoucair and Sons.  It was a clothing shop.  Two sons of Khalil Shoucair, Elis and Nicholas, ran the shop.  Eli, the older, was steeped in old world ways. He always wore somber clothes.   Nick was younger and favored snappy bow ties.   Both were old men. They showed me how to tie a bow tie.  The shop also held treasures on the shelves, and hidden in drawers, of clothing dating to WWI.  Sold at my sale was a Mallory hat I had bought new.  It was probably from from the 1950’s.

http://www.tias.com/stores/adsbydee/pictures/16581a.jpg

I found that grave robbing was not above some people.  I had an extra large manilla envelope that held movie posters.  Among those inside was a half sheet for A Hard Days Night.

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It was stolen.

It was a little creepy selling all the stuff.  People should not speak ill of the dead.  I heard more than one comment along the lines of “This guy must have been nuts.”  I also heard things I had bought described as beautiful as people gladly paid money for them.  I took in over five thousand dollars.  It was also liberating.  It is easy to place too much importance on possessions.  I tried to sell everything in the place.  I then was happy with what was left and began to buy more.

Eating Mindfully

http://www.backtothegardenmovie.org/images/danb.jpg

This evening on the radio I heard an interview with chef Dan Barber.  He was introduced by the host as a chef who could create something with a few common ingredients and make it  taste like nothing ever tasted.  The secret was not the ingredients by themselves, but how they worked in combination.  That made me think of cheese in America, and especially on pizza.

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000PuEmTJp9jmc/s/750/750/su1601-Ham-Cheese-Sandwich.jpg

 Well over a year ago I was at a restaurant with my sister and her family.  I ordered a corned beef and Swiss sandwich.  When it came I looked at the cheese and noticed it had an orange hue.  It neither looked nor tasted like Swiss cheese.  I sent it back.  Back it came again, exactly the same, with the statement that it sure was Swiss cheese.  I ate it.  I have eaten worse.  Going out the door the restaurant owner asked me how things had been.  I told him that it was not Swiss cheese that was on my sandwich.  He assured me it was, in fact it was “American Swiss cheese.” Then I got it.  “American Cheese”  means a processed cheese, which means various cheeses melted together and reconstituted, with emulsifying salts, with flavoring added.  What is has to do with Switzerland is nothing.  What it has to do with real cheese is even less.

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More recently on two separate visits I ordered a hamburger at a friendly bar near where I work and both times it came with cheese.  I had specifically not asked for cheese.  Cheese was offered as an option.  Apparently no one in that bar ever ordered a plain hamburger.  With cheese was the default option.  To make things worse the cheese on it was a skinny slice of American cheese.  Honestly, I don’t think it added a whit of flavor to the burger.  It made me wonder why everyone ordered it.

Walking by a Pizza Schmizza the other day I noticed a lunch special of a slice and pint at a nice price.  I went in and asked which pizza had the least cheese.  The young woman said “They all have the same amount, except if you order double cheese.”  Ack!  Has it come to this?  The combination of flavors, which does depend on amounts, doesn’t matter with cheese on pizza?  In Europe I have had many quatre fromage pizzas.  I found this American  review on line:

The Quatre Fromages pizza at Danielle’s Wood Fired Pizza in Valley Village is topped with grated mozzarella, ricotta, blue cheese, and goat cheese. It’s a cheese lover’s fantasy, and a well-balanced pie—no single cheese manages to steal the spotlight.

Here is a European version:

100g grated Gruyere

75g roquefort

90g of goats cheese (or 1/2 log)

1 ball of mozzarella cheese or 1 package pizza “Entremont”

The American review  used the phrase “well balanced.”  The European recipe makes sure to note that not all are to be of equal size.  Both are a long way from Pizza Schmizza, which I am sure is no more to blame than any other pizza maker in America.

I do not blame either the pizza or the  people who buy it.  I blame mass advertizing that creates an artificial need.  Or maybe it is the Steve Miller Band we need to blame.  Hey, somebody give me a cheeeeeeeeese burger!

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Screenplay for Portlandia

Scene one: A Portland Neighborhood

A male and female fire fighter are looking at a notice on the door of a house.  Smoke is coming out of the bottom and sides of the door.

Behind them across the street is a house on fire.  Two children are in a second story window crying out for help as smoke billows around them.

First Fireperson:  Is that a three or a two under dogs?

Second Fireperson:  Let’s assume it’s a three.

First Fireperson:  I wish they’d differentiate on the type of bird.  That Blue Macaw that surprised us last week was uncalled for.

They pull down their visors and break down the door.

In the background neighbors with a ladder are rescuing the children

Scene two:  A neighborhood in Portland.

A canvasser for OSPIRG is approaching a house.  From an opposite direction the fire fighters, now in civilian dress,  also approach’  The man is carrying a small potted plant.  The couple stop the canvasser:

Man:  Oh, you don’t want to knock on their door. They are in mourning.

Woman:  Yes, they just lost their 16 year old d (the canvasser assumes the d is the start of daughter)…dog.

 

Scene three:  A Portland neighborhood.

http://i.pbase.com/o2/25/921525/1/124616330.8pdOOfTX.lucky.jpg

A canvasser for Environment Oregon walks up on a porch and knocks on the door.  It is opened by the female fire fighter in civilian dress.  She is holding a small elderly dog.

Canvasser:  Hi, I’m Rachel, and I’m with Environment Oregon. We’re working to protect Crater Lake, and we’re looking for our member Carrie.

Carrie:  Oh, I am so sorry.  I just can’t renew my membership this year.  Portlandia (she indicates the dog) just got out of the hospital and the bill was $12,000 dollars.  She also is taking seven different medicines and her special diet is costing three hundred a month.

Scene four:  Alberta Street in front of the Tin Shed Garden Cafe.

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The fire fighter couple approach, enter and are shown to a table. They pick up menus.

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Man:  What looks good to you?

Woman:  Gosh, we should have brought Portlandia!  There are three items on the menu for dogs.

Scene Five:  The couple are in a car.  They stop at a light.  A homeless man with a sign approaches them.  In back of him is a billboard.

 

 

 

Alfred Hitchcock and Me

On November 19th I took the train from Portland to Olympia. That night as a guest of the Olympia Film Festival I showed a program of films I had rescued from trash cans. I  also introduced the screening of the recently found Alfred Hitchcock related film The White Shadow. In the introduction it would have taken much too long to have told the story of Mr. Hitchcock and me.  Instead I gave some brief biographical information and then to illustrate just how dangerous introducing a film at a festival could be I told the story of how Werner Herzog was introduced to the crowd at the 2rd Seattle International Film Festival in Seattle in 1977. Since there is no time limit here, I now can tell the not as exciting story of my long relationship with the great film maker Alfred Hitchcock.

I was six years old when the film Psycho came out. You had to be there to understand just how exciting it was to just about every sentient being in the world. For what seemed ages it was Psycho, Psycho and more Psycho. At that time my mother was keeping a boarding house of college girls from nearby Clark Jr. College who studied nursing. It seemed that every one of those girls, and their various boyfriends, had an opinion on Psycho, whether they had seen it or not. Since there was no such thing as Google exactly what happened in the film seemed a big mystery to everyone talking about it. The general consensus was that it was the most terrifying film ever made and very possibly the watching of it might result in death by fright. In other words it was even scarier than the scariest film ever, House On Haunted Hill, that had appeared the year before.

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Not much later I met Mr. Hitchcock in person. Or at least as in person his weekly TV show Alfred Hitchock Presents could bring him into our home. His introduction would be preceded by the Charles Gounod music “Funeral March of a Marionette” over a profile line drawing consisting of of just nine strokes that Mr. Hitchcock himself had drawn. He then would come from the left of the screen and fill in the drawn profile. From there he would personally introduce that night’s show with droll comments such as, as well as I remember, “This is a revolver. It can be used to attain money in towns where one is not well known.” The shows were routinely good, but could never top Mr. Hitchcock’s personal appearances.

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A few weeks ago I had to give a deposition in regard to a traffic accident. The one attorney said to the other attorney “I assume you’ve filed a general denial?” I then said “You know that he’s not a military man.” The attorney said “Huh?” I said “General Denial.” He just stared at me. Funny guys, attorneys. He laughed nervously after I explained the joke. It was a variation on a joke I got from from Alfred Hitchcock on the Dick Cavett show.

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 While still in my teens I saw his 1972 film Frenzy at the Blue Mouse Theater in Portland, Oregon upon its inititial release.

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I don’t recall ever watching an Alfred Hitchock film on TV or on video or digitally. I have either seen or shown the large majority of his films in theaters. I began working as a projectionist at the Movie House, an art and revival theater in the University District of Seattle, in 1973. I lived in an apartment above the theater and attended the nearby University of Washington. Early in my projectionist career I ran The 39 Steps. It was a great time for revival screenings with old films being available on the big screen in more than a dozen theaters in the Seattle area. Due to my being a projectionist I got in free to all of them via professional courtesy. I was able to see the more famous of his films; Psycho, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rebecca, Strangers On a Train, and others in various Seattle theaters. I saw Shadow of a Doubt in a film class at the UW taught by Richard T. Jameson. This was before video. It and other films in the class were screened in 16mm.

Teresa Wright - Life Magazine [United States] (16 December 1946)

After the screening of Shadow of a Doubt I wrote my first and last  fan letter. It was to Teresa Wright in New York. She was appearing there in a play. I told her I would be taking Spring quarter off from school to ride freight trains around the country and would like to meet her when I got to New York. She sent a very nice reply which did not state out loud she thought I was nuts. I embarked on the freight train riding trip in April of 1976. I spent time in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago but didn’t make it to New York. The security in rail yards increased the farther East I got. I was taken to jail in North Platte, Nebraska, and narrowly avoided the same in Salt Lake City and Laramie, Wyoming.

On that trip I did not see a single Hitchcock film. I should add here that he was not a large interest with me. He was just part of the great history of film I was interested in. In San Francisco I saw Maytime with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy at a nickelodeon era theater on Powell Street. In Los Angeles I saw a great double feature of  The Old Dark House and She (Who Must Be Obeyed) at the Nuart Theater in Santa Monica.

In Chicago I made a bee line to the Biograph Theater on North Lincoln Street.  That was where John Dillinger watched Manhattan Melodrama before exiting the theater and being shot dead by the Feds.  There I saw a Bette Davis double feature of The Letter and Now Voyager.

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 Back in Seattle I was able to see Dial M For Murder in 3-D. It was included in a 3-D festival in Ballard. Ballard is a neighborhood in Seattle that is most well known for a large Scandinavian population and the most profitible liquor store in the state. I saw a bunch of his more or less famous movies in a series at the Seattle Art Museum that included Saboteur, Notorious, Stage Fright, Under Capricorn,  Rope, and others.  In a film class taught by Kathleen Murphy I saw Life Boat.

When I took over operation of the Rose Bud Movie Palace in Seattle in 1979 one of the first films I showed was Foreign Correspondent. Soon after that I showed Jamaica Inn. I got them from Kit Parker Films.

In the late eighties I showed films in the Jewel Box Theater, located inside the Rendezvous Restaurant, in Seattle. Nearby was the Film Exchange Building. It had been built in 1928 to house the offices of many Hollywood studios including Universal, Columbia, RKO, and others. MGM had its own small building across the street. Paramount Pictures was up the street. The area was called Film Row and through it passed almost all the Hollywood movies that were shown in Washington, Idaho and Montana for the next fifty years. In an effort to save the Film Exchange Building, I employed Mr. Hitchcock in an event. It was the public trial and execution of a television set for the crime of murder of revival movies on the big screen.

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The event involved the slow hoisting of a working TV set to the top of a not very tall building as scenes of destruction were shown on it through a video of Koyaanisqatsi.  At the top of the improvised gibbet we changed the video to the climactic scene of Saboteur where Norman Lloyd, as the character Fry, is hanging off the edge of the hand of the Statue of Liberty.  Barry, played by Robert Cummings, tries to save him but is left just holding Fry’s empty sleeve. As Fry fell we dropped the TV.

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It was a sunny day so it was darned hard to see anything on the TV set. In hindsight I can see how that was sort of to the point of how crummy a TV image is in comparison to the big screen. We gave away free popcorn and everyone had a good time. One defender of the TV set did appear, a drunken man who said he didn’t own a TV and wanted us to spare it and give it to him. He was ignored.

At the Pike Street Cinema, a storefront movie theater that was created for six hundred dollars with the help of Beth Rozier and Doug Stewart in 1992 in Seattle, I showed as many of Hitchock’s British films as I could find to rent. Most of them came from The Em Gee Film Library in Reseda, California. Among them were The Lodger, Easy Virtue, The Manxman, Blackmail, and most of the sound British films that followed.

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In 1995 I dismantled the Pike Street Cinema and loaded it into a truck that I drove to New York. There in 1996 I created The Lighthouse Theater for somewhat more than six hundred bucks and the help of several friends. During the short life of the Lighthouse I did not show a single Hitchcock film. Living in New York on and off over the next ten years I did see more Hitchcock films, some for the second or third time, at the Film Forum and other venues.

Now the ability to see Hitchcock on the big screen has pretty much vanished. It is piquant to consider that I first saw his work from the end of his career as new product and then was able to watch the earlier films as revivals until the revival business was replaced by home theater systems. This may be off topic, but I saw an outdoor screening of The Wizard of Oz last year on a huge screen in a park. Unfortunately the image had been stretched to wide screen. Poor Judy Garland and all the others looked like they had put on forty pounds. No one complained. I wonder how much more of that will occur?  Could  Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window someday look more like Laird Cregar than himself.

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Which at last gets us to last fall and me standing on the stage of the Capital Theater in Olympia to introduce The White Shadow.  Here is that story.

The 2rd Seattle International Film Festival was much bigger than the first and could not have been successful without the hard work of dozens of people. One of the most important was a young man named James. He was an unpaid intern who was always available to do any task asked of him, and do it well. During the festival he spent many nights sleeping on a sofa in the basement of the theater. He worked himself into a position of hierarchy just below Darryl MacDonald and Dan Ireland who had turned the staid old Moore Theater (1907) into the exciting Moore Egyptian Theater and the first home of the SIFF.

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On the night of Werner Herzog’s appearancel James asked for his reward. All he wanted was to introduce Werner Herzog to the audience. Dan Ireland laughed in James’ face and denied the request. He told him that Rajeeve Gupta would introduce Werner.  Rajeeve had come to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. As a child in India he had appeared in Satyajit Ray films. He had international contacts with film makers and was responsible for a large part of the success of the first festivals. James stood stunned as Dan walked off. After a minute or so he walked to the concession bar and filled a large cup up with Coke, no ice.

The lobby of the Moore can correctly be called cavernous. Where Werner was standing at the door to the stage he could not see Rajeeve standing thirty feet away around a corner. James walked up behind Rajeeve and called his name. As Rajeeve turned, James threw the large cup of Coke at him. The Coke caught Rajeeve in the face and chest and seemed to envelope him in sticky carbonated wetness.  James left the astonished Rejeeve gasping and walked to the stage door. He took Werner by the arm and escorted him onto the stage. The audience greeted them warmly with James giving a very good introduction.  He then walked Werner back to the lobby, left him there, and exited through the front doors, never to be seen again.

After telling the story to the Olympia crowd I sat down to watch The White Shadow. Just how Hitchcockian was it? Not a lot. He was credited as  writer, production designer, art director, and set designer. The direction by Graham Cutts showed nothing of  Hitchock’s flair or originality. Betty Compson appeared in a duel role with Clive Brook as the man caught between. The story is told competently for a couple of reels and then a couple of reels are missing and then there is most of the ending.  There  I finally saw something of Hitchcock’s genius. A long scene takes place in a nightclub. Here is where Hitchock the set designer could shine. The nightclub is a crackerjack wonderful spooky art deco place. In it are dozens of characters in fabulous outfits. The creaky plot only gets in the way of enjoying Hitchock’s vision of what decadent night clubbing could be. Putting that aside one can just revel in his vision and realize it is just the beginning of one of the greatest cinematic careers ever.

 

 

Carolina in the Morning

When I was growing up there were certain songs that were much more than words and music.  They seemed be part of the fabric of existence.  They were as much a part of American life as a street or a house or a tree.  Some were instrumentals, melodies I had no idea of the name of.  Some were repeatedly used as accompaniment for dance acts on TV.   Later I found a couple of those songs were   “Fine and Dandy” and “Poppin’ the Cork” .

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Others were songs with lyrics from Tin Pan Alley that had outlasted their ilk to lodge in the minds of the multitudes such as  “I’m Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover,”   “Button Up Your Overcoat,” and “When the Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin Along,”   Everyone knew them without ever realizing just how, maybe not knowing all of the lyric,  always recognizing the tune  and probably being able to sing the opening bars and hum the rest.

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Some of the songs were of greater antiquity such as “Dixie,” My Darling Clementine,” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

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One song, out of what must be hundreds,  deserves further comment.  That is “Carolina In the Morning” which was composed by Walter Donaldson in 1922 with lyrics by Gus Kahn.  It falls into a sub-genre of these songs in that not only did few people really know the lyrics, but that other lyrics, of the obscene kind, seemed to have superseded them.

I had good friend in high school named Mike Brech who was both a talented visual artist and a good singer.  He had a band called “The Electric Link” that played around the area and once was the opening act for the “Box Tops” at some dance hall in Cannon Beach, Oregon.  He told me the Box Tops could barely play their instruments.

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I cannot repeat here the lyrics to “Carolina in the Morning” that Mike would sing.  It was a couple of years later, while I was in college, that Mike got into trouble with the law and was sent to prison.

In college at the University of Washington in Seattle I got involved with a group of people who were into jazz music of the Twenties and Thirties.  Many of them played in the big band The Swingland Express and in a smaller group called The Salmon City Seven.  For fun they would have jam sessions.  Some of the best were after hours at a bar called Skippers Tavern on Eastlake East.  The bartender there was a bass player. Musicians would show up at closing time and after the front door was locked the fun and music would begin.  To give you an idea of just how old the songs were that were played here is a story.  One night a reeds player showed up named Mike Edwards.  He was talented on both clarinet and soprano sax.  That night, after an hour or two of music, there was a longish pause between songs. The piano player Buck Evans asked “What should we play?”   Mike said “How about Girl From Ipanema?”  Buck replied “OK.”

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 The longish pause continued for a few more minutes.  Then Buck again asked “What should we play?”  Mike replied “I thought we were going to play Girl From Ipanema.”  Buck replied “I thought you were kidding.”

Eventually they played “Ain’t No Sweet Man’s Worth the Salt of My Tears.”

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Before the piano player Ross Harrison moved to New York there were many jam sessions at his house not far from Skippers Tavern.  The party was always in the daylight basement, which being on the down hill side,  had a nice view of Lake Union.  It was still early in the evening when Buck asked the singer Odessa Swan if she knew the song “Carolina in the Morning.”  She replied “None clean enough to sing in public.”   Instead she sang “Did I Remember,” which coincidentally was also written by Walter Donaldson.  A little later an attractive young woman, high as a kite, attracted by the music, wearing nothing but a string of pearls, wandered in.

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Recently I decided to finally learn the lyrics to Carolina in the Morning.  They are more complicated than you’d guess.  Mike Brech’s alternate lyrics just covered the first 16 bars.   That was also what I had always known; with the bridge and what followed a mystery.   It really is a wonderful song.

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The Rat In the Popcorn

Published in Otherzine issue 2
by Dennis Nyback

It was in the late 70’s at Seattle’s Moore-Egyptian Theater, home of the Seattle International Film Festival, that the incident of the dead rat happened. When the theater was built in 1907 it was just called “The Moore” but when a couple of young bon vivants from Canada in 1974 decided to turn its’ two balconies, six stage boxes, 1500 seats and an orchestra pit into a movie theater, they thought calling it the “Egyptian” would give it that air of an old-time movie palace. The fact that most of the old-timemovie palaces in

Seattle had already been razed, or soon would be, didn’t seem to bother them, but then drug use can have that effect on one’s perceptions. It took a large staff to run the old barn and with the drug use, romantic attachments, and just plain sexual licentiousness, not everyone got along. This story concerns four of them: Three candy girls and a janitor.
It was in the late 70’s at Seattle’s Moore-Egyptian Theater, home of the Seattle International Film Festival, that the incident of the dead rat happened. When the theater was built in 1907 it was just called “The Moore” but when a couple of young bon vivants from Canada in 1974 decided to turn its’ two balconies, six stage boxes, 1500 seats and an orchestra pit into a movie theater, they thought calling it the “Egyptian” would give it that air of an old-time movie palace. The fact that most of the old-timemovie palaces in Seattle had already been razed, or soon would be, didn’t seem to bother them, but then drug use can have that effect on one’s perceptions. It took a large staff to run the old barn and with the drug use, romantic attachments, and just plain sexual licentiousness, not everyone got along. This story concerns four of them: Three candy girls and a janitor.
Two of the candy girls had been working there for a while when the third one was hired. Needless to say, for no tangible reasons, they hated her. The janitor had been there longer and he didn’t like anybody, but then nobody liked him either. One day he found a dead rat in the auditorium and instead of giving it a decent burial, or just throwing it out with the trash, he decided it would be fun to put it in some conspicuous place behind the candy counter where the girls would happen upon it and scream. Whether or not they screamed when they found it I do not know,
all I know is that the new girl wasn’t around when the other two discovered it and they decided it was the perfect thing to use to put the new girl in her place. They kept it hidden, waiting patiently for the perfect moment, and eventually there was one. The new girl, not smart enough to pour sodas, was in charge of popcorn. While her back was to the machine, one of the girls quickly brought out the dead rat and adroitly dropped it into an empty popcorn cup. The plan was that the new girl would turn, pick up the cup, look inside, scream and walk off the job never to return again.
The plan worked perfectly, up to a point. The only problem was that after picking up the cup she didn’t look inside, didn’t see the dead rat, didn’t scream, and didn’t walk off the job. What she did do was fill the cup with popcorn, covering the dead rat, and served it to an unsuspecting customer who had no idea of the movie palace intrigues behind the scenes. Roughly ten minutes later, the scream was finally heard and shortly thereafter a very upset man came charging out of the auditorium,
vomitus dripping from his chin, holding the popcorn cup as far away from his body as his arms could reach. He had spent ten minutes eating the unbeknownst-to-him-rat-contaminated popcorn and put it in his mouth and then, at the bottom of the cup, his hand found the dead rat. No one knows if he mistook the rat for a large clump of popcorn and put it in his mouth, but even without that, he had every right to be upset.
The only people in the cavernous lobby were the three candy girls, so he charged across to them and thrust the dead rat under their noses and demanded to know how it got into his popcorn. The new girl was understandably amazed and the other two were quick enough on their feet to imitate her. About this time, the word “lawsuit” first entered the discourse, and other than a flat denial, the candy girls couldn’t think up a plausible story. By this time, the manager on duty had wandered by and sizing up the situation, more accurately than most people would give him credit for, said “It must have been delivered in the pre-pop.” His quick thinking cleverly shifted the specter of a lawsuit away from the theater and directed it at a company called Harlan Fairbanks, supplier of most of the Pre-Popped Popcorn sold in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area. As ridiculous as it may seem to suppose that a dead rat could be delivered in a clear plastic bag, emptied into the popcorn machine and scooped into an individual cup without anyone noticing, the guilty candy girls immediately seized on it as the gospel truth.
The damaged patron, faced with the blanket denials of everyone present, finally wrote down all of their names and left the building. He took the popcorn cup nad the dead rat with him. After a couple of months, the brouhaha died down and I suppose that the customer finally gave up his plans of instant wealth when confronted with the righteous stonewalling from everyone at the Moore-Egyptian and at the Harlan Fairbanks company.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. The new candy girl survived the nefarious plot and eventually became good friends with the other girls. The janitor had to clean up the vomit and never did become well liked, but I suppose that was a result of his questionable sense of humor.

(Note: You can visit the official website for the Moore-Egyptian theatre at http://www.themoore.com/main.html)

Hollywood Garbage and How to Smell It

Published in Otherzine Issue One
by DENNIS NYBACK

The continuing waste of Newspaper space in the Arts and Entertainment pages on Hollywood movies mystifies and appalls me. Please be advised that I use the term Hollywood very loosely and intend it to cover 90% of current films. For roughly twenty years, the films being churned out have had nothing to do with art and everything to do with money. If these films should be reported on at all it should be in the financial section. The Arts & Entertainment pages should report on just that: films that qualify.
How is that we’ve arrived at this desperate place? In the late Seventies, the big motion picture producers hit on a formula
for money-making movies and have stuck to it. The big secret of the formula is the concept of structured mediocrity. Don’t strive for greatness, play it safe. Don’t challenge the audience, feed them pabulum. Filmmaker John Woo recently said “Movies today lack heart and tears. Studios don’t want to take the risk”.

In contrast, Robert Browning once said “A man’s reach should exceed his grasp”. That statement is the antithesis of Hollywood today. They realize that art is not created by playing it safe but instead of reaching further, they grasp the easily attainable. Over and over and over. The critics have apparently failed to notice this and continue to take part in this colossal fraud by writing about the same old shit.

The steady growth of the pure Garbage spewed out every year results in a massive waste of newspaper ink and pulp. The modern market of exponenentially increasing multiplexes, short theatrical runs, unlimited TV channels, and video outlets, effectively monopolizes the limited available newspaper space. As a result, films made by people whose vision goes beyond profit are lost in the flood of celluloid sewage with its mega ad camapigns. This tacit conspiracy between film producers and newspapers almost guarantees that films made for profit will succeed and films made for art will fail.

The first part of the formula for box-office success that I mentioned earlier is an overriding philosophy. The most important thing is to strive for mediocrity. The mediocre film doesn’t need to generate huge box office in the theatres. It may take a while but product placement alone offsets much of the cost. After the US theatrical run comes the Overseas markets, TV, and Video. The only way to screw this up is to try and make a better film. A film that challenges an audience, that is thought-provoking and something more than chewing gum for the eyes is the only one that can fail.

The second part of the standard formula emphasizes style over substance and includes the followng dictates:

  • Start with a concept, not a script, writing is not important.
  • Never depend on the vision of one writer but get a committee so that one writer can spot the mistakes the others are making.
  • Get a star, acting is not important.
  • Get a bombastic composer. The composer is more important than the writer. Good writing is rare and difficult. So, why bother doing that when you can stir the emotions with loud music. (In certain films aimed at the baby-boom generation, a composer is not even neded; a disc-jockey is. Select the right blend of golden oldies a la Quentin Tarentino and you’re home free!)
  • Get some special effects, again volume not content is important.
  • Most importantly, tack on a happy ending. Voila! It goes down easy and has no side effects such as being remembered a week later when the same thing is dressed up and trotted out again.
I say that this has now been going on for twenty years based on a conversation reported in the New York Times several years ago. The reporter followed a maverick Hollywood producer around for awhile and wrote about him. At one point he is having lunch with a mainstream producers and says to him “Remember how great some of those films were back in the Seventies when they would actually have unhappy endings? Films like MEAN STREETS and THE PARALLAX VIEW and MCCABE AND MRS. MILLER?” The mainstream guy just looked at him like he was an idiot and said “Oh, that. That all ended with ROCKY!”.The producers have realized this but the critics still haven’t caught on. Many critics are now simply “Quote Whores”. They will try to include one catchy line in every review they write in the hope that it will be used and credited to them in the advertisements. As long as they get their name in the ads, their career is a success. No matter how lousy a film is, it can always find a half dozen critics who will say it’s great in some quotable way. In today’s New York Times, Siskel and Ebert give “two thumbs up” to seven crummy movies. They also trot out the tried and true “A great date film” for an eighth. Paul Wunder is quoted as saying THE LOST WORLD is “The entertainment event of the decade”. Maria Sales says CONAIR is “The Roller-coaster ride of your life”. Joel Siegal says SPEED 2 is “A great summer film”. Janet Maslin says BREAKDOWN “Packs a punch”. It goes on and on. Silly overstatement, mindless hyperbole, trite cliches and out and out lies.

To help people to just say no to Hollywood Garbage, I offer the following ten suggestions:

  1. Never go to a film because it is “The Number One Film In America”
  2. Never go to a film that used more than two script writers or is based on a best selling novel.
  3. Never go to a film that advertises its soundtrack on sale. Especially if it lists several artists as being featured on the soundtrack.
  4. Never go to a film because you saw it advertised on Television or because the trailer had a hilarious line. Trailers were once used to hint at what you would see. They didn’t want to give anything away free but make you shell out money to watch. Today they use the best scenes and funniest lines to sucker you into believing that there’s plenty more where that came from.
  5. Never go to a film that features product tie-ins with any multi-national burger chain.
  6. Never go to a film that runs an advertisemet with guns pointing at your or that has a number after its title.
  7. Never go to a film if it’s based on a true story and you’re expecting the truth.
  8. Never go to a film based on a TV show that baby-boomers remember.
  9. Never go to a film that is so bad that even Siskel and Ebert don’t like it and the producers have to resort to some quote whore you’ve never heard of from an equally obscure publication.
  10. Never go to a film with Quentin Tarentino, Oliver Stone, or anyone else that you care to add to this list.

That’s enough for now. See you at the Movies!